Artist artwork question

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I would like to ask community about what media players or music library manager they use which support displaying artist image.

My problem that i am currently using MusicBee which has quite nice UI (at least its enough for me), but the problem i cannot solve so far - it doesnt display artist image properly. Not do i mean that tool doesnt work correctly technically - i think its just a question about artwork providers.

I think there is a problem in such tools which deliver artwork from some sources (like lastfm, itunes or spotify) that they request for artist image just by name and in case of artists with similar names you just get an artwork for the first one result or just the most popular. In my case i have some trailer music with little-known composers (in mass media environment), so there are no any artwork for them or even spotify/itunes profiles.

I heard that is working good with musicbrainz and you can create a new artist record there just by accessing via http link with artist GUID from MB, but as i understand they have a strict rule about image quality, so you cannot simply add the first artist picture you find. But as i mentioned in case of little-known composers there could be only a few pictures of them mostly from their social nets and ofc they dont meet this rule about image quality.

I understand that there is always an option to add custom artwork in media player directly, but for me its just the same as adding custom tags not using MB. I mean i would prefer to use automated/global way. And even in case i have to add image manually i would prefer upload it on some site like fanart so it would be widely available.

I hope I conveyed my idea correctly. :smiley:


Personally I use KODI. It is well linked into MetaBrainz tags for the music. But it has a similar issue with getting artist images as you are describing.

I find it is pretty good at getting the majority of artist in my collection, and then I need to add a few of my own images for the more obscure artists. Or swap an image when I’d prefer artwork showing a different era of the band.

Ultimately your own artwork for artists is the only real answer for getting your own perfection. A media centre that will default to your art before going online to search is the key.

Yeah, i suppose doing this locally could be a way out, but i am afraid i too often make some reinstalling/updating/doing-from-scratch, that all this job wont persist for too long. xD

Also i just got an idea that it would nice if i could bind artist GUIDs from MB to my local custom artist images (or just name image files with this GUID) and then use this list/image directory as a source for artwork. But i suppose such thing isnt possible unless certain media player has some scripting/plugin possibilities to do this.

Do you backup the music files? Then add the artist images in to that backup.

KODI’s new artist image system is designed around a separate folder tree for the artist artwork and that does use the MB Artist IDs. So much so that when it finds two artists with the same name in your collection it uses the MB IDs to keep them separate.

It is still a “work in progress”, and I am not expert on it, but it is trying to sort out the mess you have spotted.

That sounds similar to that idea i have. Interesting, may be it would be possible to create a ticket/request for media player i use. Hm…

@IvanDobsky Could you please provide any sources for this “new artist image system” from KODI?

@InvisibleMan78 KODI has a forum just like MB does.

In the Music section you’ll find Dave doing 90% of the work. He revamped music in general in v17, the current release v18 now has much better use of MusicBrainz IDs and tagged data, and part of that was the new Artist Image Handling code.

Check the stickies at the top of the page, specifically this one which is a link to a few FAQs to read

And then join the community and ask questions. KODI can be confusing to get your head round initially, but it can do a great job of handling music. Especially if well tagged using Picard and MusicBrainz IDs.

Or, if your data is well tagged, just install KODI Media Centre from the website and point it at your music folders and see how well it builds a library. Even default settings comes out with something very usable.


I may have confused you. KODI is a full media centre and would be a replacement for musicbee.

It may make more sense for you to hit the MusicBee forums and see what thoughts they may have on separate artist artwork. I know some players allow an artist.jpg image to sit with the files of an album ready for display.